Thursday, 8 August 2019

Google - it's past high time to address the quality of some of your reviews (and reviewers)

Last night a representative of a London City law firm appeared on Channel 4 news. One of our staff googled the firm. What did they see? This...





31 reviews. Those, in theory, should give any potential client a pretty rounded picture of the business and its services. Do they? You be the judge...




Our opinion? A resounding 'NO!'

Why? Because not a single one of these is written by someone that has first-hand experience of the services delivered by the business.

Local guides

A great idea - Google Local Guides - that has backfired on Google (and its users, both businesses and consumers). Google incentivises local guides - they earn points for every review or rating, as you can see from this:


Just how helpful is this review for someone looking for an international corporate lawyer?




Or this one?



Ratings

A lazy way to generate content at best. Maybe they work for pizza parlours, but they are worse than unhelpful for service businesses and their potential customers. One star - why? Five stars - why again?



Helpful?


What should Google do?

  1. Eliminate ratings
  2. Insist on a minimum character count for reviews - say 50
  3. Suspend local guides that 'review' businesses they have not used

What should the business do?

  1. Contact Google and ask for all these so-called reviews and ratings to be deleted
  2. Adopt a proactive review management programme, so they begin to look like this in search:




Helpful for potential clients? Generating more business for the business? We will leave you to answer the first question. Our answer to the second? You will see in your first Google My Business monthly report after joining. Here is one:





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